(Basketball)…It’s Better in the Bahamas

Junkanoo Jays: Jammin’ in the Bahamas

It’s Summertime and time to Jam in the Caribbean. The 2011 Creighton Jays took their show on the road, harkening back to their heritage as the Travelin’ Bluejays of yore. Greg McDermott’s 2011 Bluejays traveled to scenic Nassau, Bahamas for a junket of fun n’ sun, beaches n babes, surfin’ and snorkelin’…and oh yeah – a bit of pre-season hoops.

In the 1st truly overseas trip in decades (Canadian trips notwithstanding), the 2011 Bluejays had to endure the travel and jetlag issues more associated in this day and age, with your local Congressperson or Senator and their political junkets, than with a collegiate basketball team. (I can hear “Red” and Eddie now… checking paperwork, advising to count the bags to ensure all the luggage and equipment had arrived with the team, doing head counts to verify everyone was present and accounted for… )

Coach Mac’s crew used this trip an a evaluative one to allow 8 players, some new, some previously injured, and some transfers, to “break the ice” as playing Jays – using this Caribbean playground venue as their coming out party. And what a party it was. Although not textbook perfect and not always pretty, the Jays breezed through this 4 game swing in the Bahamas, as though they were at Junkanoo. The basketball nearly as enjoyable as the requisite beachfront perks at their resort hotel.

The Jays had ample opportunity to show the coaches their stuff and Coach Mac and staff experimented with a variety of groupings, pairing, and matchup scenarios…including STARTING the Fab Four Frosh and RS Frosh Will Artino in the 4th and final test. The new coaching regime emphasized a continuation of the uptempo style of play we witnessed last spring in post-season play.

Again, while far from perfection – even credible MVC play, this trip was a rousing success. Great play from the newcomers, steady performance from the veterans, and a coalescing and growing comraderie and chemistry of the entire team was evident throughout the the junket.

All in all this Bahamas visit exceeded all reasonable expectations (and the games were fun as well). For detailed stats and analysis, see the series of staff notes, videos, and commentary at goCreighton.com and the series of articles and Creighton Otter’s excellent overall review at theWhiteandBlueReview.com.

It was one of those memorable, once in a lifetime, type of excursions. One that was both instructive and fun. This trip will serve as the launchpad for the successful careers of the Fab Four, the initiation for our transfers, and the continuation of excellent careers for our vets.

This Junkanoo Junket also serves as this year’s kickoff to a great season and of Championships to come. I am optimistic that our Creighton Basketball Jays will use this opportunity to gird their efforts in Seizing the Season ahead. Go Jays…Go Big Blue!

The Jays will not have another such trip until 2015-16 Season (the prelude season to the Creighton Basketball Centennial).